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FedEx Executive VP: the vaccine will ship Monday

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Dec 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-12 18:00:11-05

MICHIGAN — Richard Smith, Executive Vice President of FedEx, says the vaccine will ship Monday so those on the receiving end have time to prepare.

"... the decision was made by the team that because there are hundreds of administration sites that are going to be receiving these," Smith told Fox 17. "They thought it best that we wait until Monday to deliver them to ensure they're all open and ready to receive."

Vaccine shipments are being packed now to be picked up by FedEx and UPS, and the two delivery juggernauts have divvied up at least the continental US.

"It's not a clean East West split." Smith says. "But we'll pick up our packages going to the states and metropolitan areas that have been designated to us ups will do the same, we'll move them through our network."

"This is who we are and what we do every day." explained delivery on this scale is something they've been preparing for since their inception in 1973. "It's what we were designed to do."

FedEx has implemented new technology to track the deliveries in the event of severe weather or other delay.

"When we pick up our packages, our couriers will affix these to every box in a pouch." Smith says showing a sensor called a Bluetooth Low Energy tag they're calling FedEx Surround. "And so we'll be able to know where they are at all [using] a predictive analytics platform we developed in collaboration with Microsoft. And we're rolling all of this out for this vaccine distribution effort..."

The vaccine was approved for use in the US by the FDA Friday, while the CDC recommended their director approve it Saturday. The director is expected to make their decision known at any time.

The rush to deliver the vaccine comes just as last minute online shopping would normally be peaking.

"We were preparing for e-commerce to be the future and COVID maybe accelerated us a little bit to the into the future in that regard," Smith said. "Most of your Christmas presents will move in that ground system whereas the Express network the original Federal Express, founded in 1973, was designed for time definite deliveries, like say vaccines that are very temperature sensitive and critical